By Joshua Glasgow

ISBN-10: 0415990734

ISBN-13: 9780415990738

Social commentators have lengthy requested even if racial different types can be conserved or eradicated from our practices, discourse, associations, and maybe even deepest recommendations. In A thought of Race, Joshua Glasgow argues that this set of decisions unnecessarily provides us with too few options.

Using either conventional philosophical instruments and up to date mental examine to enquire folks understandings of race, Glasgow argues that, as often conceived, race is an phantasm. in spite of the fact that, our urgent have to communicate to and make experience of social existence calls for that we hire whatever like racial discourse. those competing pressures, Glasgow keeps, eventually require us to forestall conceptualizing race as whatever organic, and as a substitute know it as a wholly social phenomenon.

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Example text

The way to make sense of this is to say that, first, 24 Thinning Out the Concept of Race they shared a concept of justice, but, second, they had different conceptions, or theories, of justice. The agenda here, again, is to find the content of the concept RACE: we want to know not (just) when people have different understandings or conceptions of race, but rather when we have stopped talking about race and started talking about shmace. In analyzing the ordinary concept of race thinly, Hardimon (2003, 440) is charging that the thicker analyses can only be appropriately understood, not as analyses of the ordinary concept of race, but as analyses of the ordinary conception of race.

The second thesis of the historical-expert approach is that when we want to know what racial terms mean, we ought to look at how they have been used historically. That is, the meanings of racial terms are primarily determined by how they have been used throughout history. ’ In a distinctive step, the historical-expert approach then combines the two deference theses into one novel historical-expert thesis: HET: The meanings of racial terms are set by how they are used by the historical experts (no matter what non-experts say about them).

Indeed, this kind of phenomenon—that an individual of race R need not have the visible traits typical of R—might seem to be a reason to reintroduce H2 into the equation: if that individual is a member of R not because of her visible traits, perhaps it is because of her ancestry (Blum 2002, 100–101). How can we resolve this dilemma? We might appeal to cluster concepts (Outlaw 1996a, 1996b), or we might say that the ordinary concept of race is incoherent, but I think another solution is available: we can modify H1 to say that members of racial groups by and large have the relevant, distinctive racial traits.

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A Theory of Race by Joshua Glasgow


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